March 26, 2010

Rare earths and a shortage of (bad) news

A news article in Science by Robert F. Service is titled "Nations Move to Head Off Shortages of Rare Earths" and subtitled "Looming scarcities of a handful of essential elements could shake the electronics industry, unless manufacturers and mining companies develop more sources soon."

Service actually reports that rare earths are so abundant and cheap that mining companies do not bother to exploit most ores and some refining businesses have even closed in recent years for lack of demand. So better headings for the article would be:
Rare earths not so rare

Manufacturers and mining companies keep finding new sources of essential elements for the electronics industry
But, alas, such information does not deserve the name of news. Or even worse, it may look like good news.

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